Dr Curtis Woods has struggled with life for the past few months as senior pastor of Severns Valley Baptist Church.
Ahead of many in his congregation at the Elizabethtown church, Woods announced his resignation on Sunday.
Woods, who took over as lead pastor in September 2020, told congregants he was in an ongoing battle with “clinical depression.”
In a letter posted to the church’s Facebook page and one he read after the second Sunday service, Woods said, “I have spent several months reflecting on my role as senior pastor of SV. As many of you know, I have had a significant battle with clinical depression among other mental abnormalities that cause me to question my ability to lead this congregation into a better future.
“I have discovered many things about my personality and my spiritual life in recent months that will require more intense counseling sessions for an indefinite period, invariably hampering my ability to effectively lead staff and the church,” he said. he adds.
His resignation is effective immediately.
Woods, a married father of three sons, replaced Bill Langley, who left for a position on the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Severns Valley is the oldest evangelical church west of the Allegheny Mountains and was founded on June 18, 1781 and is among the largest congregations in Hardin County.
“Our church’s immediate focus is to continue to support Pastor Curtis and his family during this time,” SVBC Deputy Moderator Kevin Ray said.
“Since Sunday’s announcement, our congregation has continued to show care and concern for Pastor Curtis and his family.”
Ray said for the immediate future, “a combination of guest pastors and our own knowledgeable staff members will deliver weekly messages.”
Ray said the church has policies in place to guide the search for a new pastor, starting with forming a senior pastor search team that will be approved by members.
He said the search will begin soon.
Woods said the SVBC church board and congregation have supported him as he takes steps “to become more emotionally healthy.”
Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1404 or [email protected]